Eon wants Boyle for Bond 25, Bamigboye says

UPDATE (9:10 p.m. New York Time): Baz Bamigboye now has a story on the Daily Mail website.

“James Bond star Daniel Craig is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle can complete a Richard Curtis Beatles movie musical in time to take charge of the new Bond film by the end of the year,” Bamigboye wrote.

Here’s a longer excerpt:

Craig attended a meeting with James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Boyle and his Trainspotting writing partner John Hodge, where the film-makers pitched their vision for Bond 25.

‘They took the idea to Barbara, never believing for a minute she would go for it. But she’s excited by the concept — and so is her producing partner Michael,’ a closely connected source told me in Los Angeles.

Bamigboye says Hodge hasn’t completed his script yet. The Daily Maily scribe describes Craig as one of the main forces pushing for Boyle to direct Bond 25.

“All my reporting suggests that by year’s end, the man who made Slumdog Millionaire will be putting Craig through his paces as Her Majesty’s Secret Service agent 007,” the Daily Mail scribe wrote.

ORIGINAL POST: Eon Productions wants Danny Boyle to direct Bond 25, is willing to wait until after he directs another movie *if* a script being written by John Hodge is acceptable, the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye said on Twitter Thursday night.

#DannyBoyle will direct next #007 film #Bond25 late this year after shooting #allyouneedislove for @Working_Title – as long as Bond screenplay by #JohnHodge meets approval,” Bamigboye wrote in his Twitter post. “#BarbaraBroccoli #Michael G.Wilson & #DanielCraig ‘willing’ this to happen.”

Bamigboye, since 2011, has had a number of scoops about Skyfall, SPECTRE and Bond 25 proven correct. However, he has been silent in recent weeks as Variety and Deadline: Hollywood had Bond 25 stories.

Variety reported Feb. 20 that Boyle, director of Slumdog Millionaire and a video featuring Daniel Craig as Bond for the 2012 Summer Olympics, was being considered to helm Bond 25. Deadline went one better on Feb. 21, saying Boyle would direct Bond 25 only if a script being written by Hodge would be the basis of the film.

That would mean ditching a story that veteran 007 scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had devised. Bamigboye reported a year ago that Purvis and Wade were hired to write Bond 25, which was confirmed in a July 24, 2017 announcement saying Bond 25 would be released in November 2019 in the U.S.

Things got more complicated when multiple entertainment news outlets reported that Boyle was going to direct a musical that could go into production fairly soon.

In effect, Bamigboye is saying all of the above is correct. If he’s right, Eon remains in its “prestige” phase, hiring auteur directors (Marc Forster, Sam Mendes). Stayed tuned. Meanwhile, you can view Bamigboye’s tweet for yourself.

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007 questions about Bond 23’s indefinite delay

The announcement that Eon Productions has opted to delay Bond 23 “indefinitely” is generating a lot of questions. Let’s get to them.

001. How long is indefinite? Well if there was a specific timeline, it wouldn’t be indefinite, would it? Still, indefinite can vary.

Golfer Tiger Woods, in a Feb. 19 statement didn’t actually say indefinitely but used similar words when talking about when he might play in a tournament again: “I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out that it will be this year.” It turned out to be less than two months.

In the case of Bond 23, how long indefinite turns out to be is linked to the fate of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and, for the moment, it appears that’s going to take longer than two months.

002. Does this mean Daniel Craig has played 007 for the last time? This will depend, at least in part, on the answer to 001. But here’s something to bear in mind: Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as Bond couldn’t survive a four-year hiatus by Eon; Timonthy Dalton’s couldn’t withstand a five-year hiatus. Even if Eon got Bond 23 out by 2012, a dicey proposition at the moment, that would be a four-year gap since Craig’s last 007 appearance in 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

003. Bye bye Sam Mendes? Eon has never officially announced Mendes was actually going to direct the movie. If he has been working on the film, the indefinite delay may very well scramble that. Recall that Guy Hamilton was actually signed to direct The Spy Who Loved Me, but bailed out as the partnership between producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman was coming unraveled. That event resulted in a mere two-and-a-half year gap between 007 films, which seems rather quaint now.

004. Bye bye Peter Morgan? Morgan, the scribe behind Frost/Nison, actually was hired officially. He indicated in a December interview that he hadn’t done any work on the project since October because of the uncertainty surrounding MGM. At this stage, it’s hard to tell if he’ll ever resume.

005. Do the Broccolis take this opportunity to cash out? We’ve noted before that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli seem to show more enthusiasm for non-Bond projects. Also, Michael Wilson has talked since at least 1999 about how tired he is.

006. Bye bye Judi Dench? The Oscar winner is now 75 and potentially looking at a few more years before reprising the role of M. Part of the answer may depend on whether Craig returns as Bond or not.

007. How much damage does this do to the 007 franchise? This is the biggest question and perhaps the hardest to analyze. One the one hand, it has survived other long delays in launching Bond movies. On the other, how many of these shots can the Bond series take?